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Hollywood and the culture elite : How the movies became American

Author: Peter Decherney
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2005.
Series: Film and culture.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"As Americans flocked to the movies during the first part of the twentieth century, the guardians of culture grew worried about their diminishing influence on art, education, and American identity itself. Meanwhile, Hollywood studio heads were eager to stabilize their industry, solidify their place in mainstream society, and expand their new but tenuous hold on American popular culture." "Peter Decherney explores  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Peter Decherney
ISBN: 0231133766 9780231133760 0231133774 9780231133777
OCLC Number: 56753305
Awards: Runner-up for Theatre Library Association Award 2017
Description: x, 269 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction : how film became art --
Vachel Lindsay and the Universal Film Museum --
Overlapping publics : Hollywood and Columbia University, 1915 --
Mandarins and Marxists : Harvard and the rise of film experts --
Iris Barry, Hollywood imperialism, and the gender of the nation --
The Museum of Modern Art and the roots of the cultural Cold War --
The politics of patronage : how the NEA (accidentally) created American avant-garde film --
Conclusion : the transformation of the studio system.
Series Title: Film and culture.
Responsibility: Peter Decherney.
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Abstract:

Hollywood and cultural institutions worked together to insure their own survival and profitability and to provide a coherent, though shifting, American identity. This book explores how their needs  Read more...

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It is in the author's discussion of these Cold War happenings that the narrative becomes almost cloak-and-dagger. Publishers Weekly A clearly written and well-researched historical work that makes a Read more...

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""As Americans flocked to the movies during the first part of the twentieth century, the guardians of culture grew worried about their diminishing influence on art, education, and American identity itself. Meanwhile, Hollywood studio heads were eager to stabilize their industry, solidify their place in mainstream society, and expand their new but tenuous hold on American popular culture." "Peter Decherney explores how these needs coalesced and led to the development of a symbiotic relationship between the film industry and America's stewards of high culture. Formed during Hollywood's Golden Age (1915-1960), this unlikely partnership ultimately insured prominent places in American culture for both the movie industry and elite cultural institutions. It redefined Hollywood as an ideal American industry; it made movies an art form instead of simply entertainment for the masses; and it made moviegoing a vital civic institution. For their part, museums and universities used films to maintain their position as quintessential American institutions." "As the book delves into the ties between Hollywood bigwigs and various cultural leaders, an intriguing cast of characters emerges, including the poet Vachel Lindsay, film producers Adolph Zukor and Joseph Kennedy, Hollywood flak and censor extraordinaire Will Hays, and philanthropist turned politician Nelson Rockefeller. Decherney considers how Columbia University's film studies program helped integrate Jewish students into American culture while also professionalizing screenwriting. He discusses MoMA's career-savvy film curator Iris Barry, a British feminist once dedicated to stemming the tide of American cultural imperialism, who ultimately worked with Hollywood and the U.S. government to fight fascism and communism and promote American values abroad. Other chapters explore Vachel Lindsay's progressive vision of movies as reinvigorating the public sphere through film libraries and museums; the promotion of movie connoisseurship at Harvard and other universities; and how the heir of a railroad magnate bankrolled the American avant-garde film movement."--Jacket." ;
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